Critique Mariam

Joined
Feb 6, 2006
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20,044
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TX originally from Louisiana
Okay for those of ya'll that know me or remember me, I've been a sports photographer for 15+ years. I've been to a school for pros for the last 4 years in a row. I'm gonna post a photo and see what ya''ll say about it - wanna see if it's anywhere near what my teacher said about it. She and her husband are high end with a studio in San Antonio - gotta make sure of that location! Anyway, here's the photo. OH, FYI - Mariam has a prism on her right eye glass lens. She doesn't want it photoshopped. Also, Mariam suffered a stroke almost 2 years ago. She wants people to see her just as she is. I did very little to the photo - basically, removed a hole that was in the rock too close to Mariam - I left the crack.
MARIAM HEAD SHOTS_0837_edited-2.jpg
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Joined
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Tennessee
Hi Dianne,
Three thing that I would like to see, first I would have her adjust the glasses and try to remove more of the reflections. I would like to see the hair pulled back and not falling in front of the shoulders, and third would be to ask her to lower her chin a little.

It will be interesting to see what your teachers recommendations are. Thanks for sharing.
 
Joined
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Columbia, Maryland
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Walter Rowe
I agree with Todd. Lower the chin. Adjust the glasses to eliminate the reflection. Maybe use a polarizer. The light is a little flat on her face without much dimension (shadows and highlight with defined transitions). Maybe use some artificial light on her from above right or left and adjust exposure to darken the background so she is the central focal point in the overall lighting.

Brave girl for wanting to show herself unvarnished.
 
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CHARLOTTE
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Randy
the glare on her glasses is bad, a lot because of the slight tilt upwards of her head
the composition and pose are good
 
Joined
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TX originally from Louisiana
Thanks ya'lll! Well, yep ya'll about on track as my teacher said - now my teacher wanted me to have her glasses retouched and I agree about the angle of her head. I also noticed the hem of her tunic as "messy" I wish I could figure out how to bring out the shine of her hair and make it appear smoother - she doesn't want it photoshopped. Her motto is "you get what you see"
As for composition and pose - I learned it at school. I now have an arsenal of poses at my disposal - just need to print them out and organize into categories.
One the lighting - I used a scrim - if I had carried my light, I would have been charged quite a bit to get into the arboretum instead of the $9 per person. I"m using an alien bee with a soft box when on location. BUT also have to watch where I take it - I can be charged for it. Nope, I ain't kidding
 
This is so nice to see Mariam healthy again!

I’m not great on critiquing but it seems to me that the background is maybe a little too distracting? I agree with the others about tilting her head up a bit more and also eliminating the reflections in the glasses. I also agree with you about straightening up the hem and edge of the tunic so that it lies smoother and isn’t distracting. Wow, her hair is so long....yes, that would be nice if you could show a little shine in it as well.....

Mariam is right, though, in saying that she doesn’t want the image photoshopped extensively or “glamorized” in any way
because then, yes, that would convey a different image of her than the person she really is and of course she wants to be herself with anyone she meets!
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
The image is quite comforting because your subject appears so comfortable in her own skin. She and you did a nice job of bringing that out.

I agree with most of the other comments and will add one more in the context that people have suggested that you could have lowered your subject's chin. Aside from the obvious impact on her chin and neck, I wonder if lowering her chin would have made her eyes appear more open; currently she is looking down by lowering her eyes but not her head and that makes her eyes appear less open. Another solution that would have affected only the eyes would have been to have her look above the camera rather than at it. Doing so would have reduced the connection with the viewer but would have created a photo that renders your subject less aware of the camera and a bit more in a dream state (so to speak for lack of better words).

As for your desire to make her hair appear more shiny, probably nothing more could have been done given the lighting constraints you explained.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
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Location
TX originally from Louisiana
Thanks ya'll - ya'll right on the money about what changes can be made. I need more "clients" so that I can do more - Mariam still has a ton of issues in her recovery but hey, she's doing extremely well. For fun I'm gonna show ya'll a photo I took for her - she just got a new trike bought from a vet. She's adding things to her own therapy. She has to strap her left foot in since the feeling and strength has been lost. Her left side remains very affected from the stroke, but hey, she's a fighter, has a great attitude and does quite well with her balance except when she's really tired.
DIA_6207_1109_edited-1.jpg
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Joined
Feb 6, 2006
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TX originally from Louisiana
Thanks ya'll - I"ll be doing a ton more photos with Mariam! She wants to put different photos on her profile for her dating thingie. I'm anxious to try using one of my lights on location. There are a few places around here where I can do it - just gotta be sure I can handle the weight. I'll carry a 50lb sandbag to keep my light anchored in case of wind. The bike she's on was bought from a Iraq war vet - he lost a leg and the prosthetic one prevented him from being able to ride. He was truly happy to see his bike go to someone like Mariam.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
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6,586
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Annapolis
Agree with the other posters. I'd also like the BG more OOF, since her hair and outfit and the BG tree are all looking reddish. So a wider f/stop might through the BG more OOF to give more separation.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
231
What a shame such a beautiful young lady has had a stroke, she doesn’t deserve that!
Hope she has a complete recovery.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
20,044
Location
TX originally from Louisiana
Hey Mike G! Yeah, it was devastating to say the least. But she's a fighter and very strong. I wish I had 1/2 her strength and courage. She's doing quite well though. She's working with a group here in TX that will help her find a great state or even Federal job - and they also encouraged her to keep going to college. She wants to be a chef. Mariam has come a long way, some of it quite hard, but she has the determination of a tigress. AND IT'S HER FAITH IN GOD THAT PERSEVERES!!!!!! I recently bought Mariam a little point and shoot camera. She's getting into scrapbooking now.
 
I am so glad to hear that Mariam is doing well and pursuing her interests! If she can land a state or federal job that would be terrific, but I agree that she should also concentrate on going to college right now, get a degree under her belt, too. If she is interested in cooking, maybe she should consider going to a good culinary college?
 

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